The animated sequel took in $60.3 million in its first weekend at theatres, followed by the lavish sci-fi flick "Prometheus" with $50 million.
"Snow White and the Huntsman," starring Charlize Theron, fell to the third spot with $23 million.
"Men in Black 3," starring Will Smith, earned $13.5 million for fourth place.
All studio estimates of gross box office receipts are via Box Office Mojo.
"Marvel's The Avengers" was No. 5 with $10.8 million; "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" sixth with $3.2 million; "What to Expect When You're Expecting" seventh with $2.7 million; "Battleship" eighth with $2.28 million; and "The Dictator" ninth with $2.15 million.
"Moonrise Kingdom" rounded out the top 10 with $1.57 million.
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